A TAXI DRIVER’S PRAYER
I had such a singular experience this morning that I felt I had to write about it.
I had an appointment in the Vatican’s medical center with an orthopedic surgeon for a reading of an MRI and for an update on the fractured vertebra I’ve been living with for two months. October was a very trying time but over the last month, the pain diminished a bit every week and Monday I felt as close to normal as I have in two months but I will still quite anxious about the MRI results. The written report accompanying the CD of the MRI was quite lengthy but in medical terms I did not understand at all.
I called a taxi, even though on foot I could reach the Vatican’s Sant’Anna entrance in probably 10 minutes or less. I’ve been very careful as walking has been tough, thus taxis have pretty much been my mode of transport.
I gave the driver the Sant’Anna address and said we could enter Vatican City as I had a Vatican ID. On the way, I jokingly said it would have been closer for me to walk but I was being careful because of a painful back issue. He asked what was wrong, I replied “a fractured vertebra” and he said “that must be so painful.” I said I was improving and would see a doctor this morning.
A few minutes later he asked if I was a believer (I’m sure it was related to the fact I was going to the Vatican), and I said, yes, I’m a practicing Catholic. He turned and smiled and said, “then you believe in the power of prayer to heal. That prayer can heal as well as – or perhaps even better than – doctors.”
I said I totally agreed and that I try to end my prayers, especially of supplication, with “God willing!”
A few minutes later, we entered Vatican City and I directed him to the medical center. When he stopped, he turned around and asked if it would be OK to pray together for my healing! He asked my name and then he prayed, asking the Lord to send the Holy Spirit on me to heal me and watch over me. He then prayed that “the doctor will be amazed at how Joan has healed.”
He said this with a bowed head and with such conviction, I was speechless! I said “God bless you today and always.” He smiled, saying “have a great day” and pulled away.
I think I stood outside for a minute, pondering this amazing encounter.
Half an hour later, after Dr. Buzzelli had studied the MRI documents and CD and made me do some movements and asked questions, he had a broad smile and said, “The fracture has clinically healed!” He said healing will continue, mentioned some limitations and then prescribed medicine to strengthen bones.
I asked if I could have a minute of his time to share an amazing story. At the end, he said he knows so many wonderful people that what this driver said did not surprise him!
If you saw it, on Thanksgiving Day I wrote: “Dear Lord, how have you blessed me? Let me count the ways…..Listing some of those ways, I wrote: “Does a day pass that You do not bring some unique, new person into my life? The newest member of my wonderful, large family? A friend from another country? Another wonderful seminarian or priest added to the many who have made my life and my faith so fulfilling? The list is so very long!
“Does a day pass that I am not enriched and blessed by some amazing event that You placed in my path as a learning moment, a time of prayer, a period of silent Thanksgiving?”
I can only say “Amen.”
POPE FRANCIS VISITS THE VATICAN APOSTOLIC LIBRARY
Pope Francis on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to the Vatican Apostolic Library.
As you can see in the photographs published on the Library’s official Twitter account @VaticanLibrary, the Pope was accompanied by Archbishop José Tolentino Calaça de Mendonça, Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and Librarian of the Vatican Library, and by the Prefect of the Library, Monsignor Cesare Pasini.
If you want to tour the library, click here: https://www.vaticanlibrary.va/home.php?ling=eng
I learned about the visit when I stopped by to say hello to a gal I know who has a great store just outside the door to my building. As Emanuela and I were chatting, a couple stopped by to share some good news. Their daughter Federica, who lives in my building and has a top position in the Vatican Library, had told them about the papal visit and they shared that news with us and thus we heard about it before it was published.